Build Your Influence with a Social Media Kingpin

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Whatever your goals are in life, increasing your influence plays a crucial role. Without the ability to influence the actions, behaviors and beliefs of others we can never hope to change the world.

One of the best steps you can take to increase your influence is to connect with other influencers. I recently had the opportunity to interview Justin Wise, a kingpin in the intersecting world of social media and the Church.

(NOTE: If you want to cut to the chase, Justin is holding a free training titled “Build Your Influence” this Wednesday, July 30th from 1-5 PM Eastern. Click here to register.)

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KC: You have an unabashed love for the city of Des Moines, Iowa. Why is it so amazing?

Justin: So many memories and major life occurrences happen in our hometown. This is where I grew up and I want to pour back into the community that poured so much into me. Like LeBron James (who could probably dunk my head) I want to bring a championship back to Des Moines!

KC: You have a background in ministry. What was the catalyst that triggered the shift to online marketing and social media?

Justin: There was no one thing. Going from a pastor to an entrepreneur was a significant life shift. There was no one moment where I said, “Ok. I’m switching careers.” It was a combination of many different factors:

  1. Expectations. I got into ministry right after college largely because of the expectations of others. And I don’t want to work on the weekends. Ministry was someone else’s vision for my life.
  2. Family. My amazing wife has always wanted to stay home. It was her dream to be a mom since she was a little girl. With the circumstances of my job it wasn’t ever going to be feasible for us to live on one income unless something changed.
  3. Dreams. I had dreams that I wanted to achieve and like many dreams, there was a price tag attached to them.

KC: You wrote The Social Church earlier this year. What inspired you to write the book?

Justin: I wrote the book for church-based social media advocates and their leaders. Through working with ministries and clients I’ve witnessed how churches use marketing strategies to try and reach an audience that no longer exists. It was frustrating to watch companies selling dog food or roofing tiles kill it on social media while the Church at large didn’t seem to grasp the connective power and potential of social media despite having the most valuable message in history to share with the world.

Too often we want to understand the how before we grasp the why. Which is like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the instructions. The Social Church brings the focus back to the why behind social media and equips the reader.

KC: If you could reach across cyberspace and through the screen of the average social media addict and grab them by the ear, what would you tell them?

Justin: Please ensure that your social media content is engineered to deliver social media results. Not vanity metrics. If your social media results do not evolve beyond the level of vanity metrics you are literally and figuratively leaving money on the table. This goes for individuals, brand, organizations and churches.

Know the results you want. Define your goals or your social media metrics don’t mean anything. If organizations jump into social without a clear understanding of what their objectives are then social gets a bad rap.

It’s not social’s fault if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s your fault. Social media is like a tool. If you use the tool improperly or apply it in the wrong way it’s not the tools fault. It’s like trying to dig a trench with a grapefruit spoon instead of a back hoe.

The organizations who take responsibility for how they apply social media and implement a well formulated strategy are the ones who win.

KC: Why are we on social media at large? (we want to be heard, we want to matter, to build our influence)

It’s a natural extension of our humanity and being social creatures by nature. We’ve always been communicating. Throughout history we’ve been scratching pictures on walls and telling stories.

Move forward in history to the printing press, broadcast radio, TV, and the internet. Our natural social tendencies have begun to merge with technology with the advent of social media. It blurs the lines. Web 3.0 is social media. Humans communicating through the internet. Web 4.0 will be where we communicate through the internet and it communicates back to us.

KC: So basically Siri is going to usher in a apocalyptic Terminator era?

Justin: Well hopefully it’s not that sinister. Technology is becoming embedded literally and figuratively into our everyday experience. The lines between online and offline are blurred.

KC: What is one tip to build influence with social media?

Justin: Being focused on your community and add value to your community. Too many people look at social media and all they see is social ME-dia. They believe falsely that everyone online cares about them. The ME monster.

The great thing about social media is that it gives everyone a platform. But the dark side of social media is that it gives everyone a platform.

The people who are the MOST successful online rarely talk ABOUT themselves, but they always talk AS themselves.

They are always interjecting their personality into the discussion, but the discussion doesn’t revolve around them.

I believe in the power of social because I believe in the power of people.

KC: You’ve got an event the end of this month, on July 30th titled Build Your Influence. Beyond the obvious, what are your 3 big goals for the event?

Justin: here you go —

  1. That everything would work. :) Launches are like a concert with an orchestra, conductor, lighting, etc and I don’t anything to go wrong.
  2. That people would walk away with pages and pages of notes and implement the information. Maybe not everything, but 2-3 take aways to improve their audience building efforts.
  3. That people would feel compelled to sign up for Think Digital Academy, our monthly social media coaching program. I believe in this product and the results it can deliver for people.

KC: Who are some of the speakers?

Justin: Gary Vaynerchuk, Mari Smith, Jeff Goins, Erik Fisher and many more. The best part is NONE of the speakers asked to be paid which allows us to give event away for free.

KC: Where can people register for FREE and learn more about the event?

Justin: BuildYourInfluence.co

KC: And where can people find you online?

Justin: On Twitter. That’s my jam. Tweet me at @JustinWise and I may even reply back. :)


I hope you learned a few things from our interview with Justin. He’s a true professional and a generous guy. If you aren’t registered for the Build Your Influence event go check it out right now. You won’t easily find this many social pros gathered to provide killer content for free anywhere else.

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